Dear Friends in Christ,
It’s that time of year again! It’s the time when mailboxes all over are being filled with the sometimes celebrated and sometimes dreaded back-to-school letters. Usually these envelopes include the name of the student’s teacher, a few reminders about school policies, a handful of flyers printed on colored paper to sign and return, and, of course, the supply shopping list.
Kids need supplies to help them make the most of their school days. Pens and pencils with which to write, notebooks and lined paper to be filled with notes and doodles, binders and folders to keep things organized, markers, crayons, and glue sticks for their art projects. They need lunch boxes to fill with healthy food. Perhaps most important of all, they need emotional support and love. Children who don’t have the right supplies may find themselves struggling with the tasks set before them during the school year, and that interferes with their learning. They need their backpacks and schoolbags filled with the right supplies to help them learn and grow.
This doesn’t end when they graduate, of course. As adults, we still have spiritual backpacks that need to be filled. In order to learn and grow in our faith lives, we need to make sure we have the right supplies for the tasks before us. What might those supplies be? Well, we’ll need our Bibles, to learn the stories of our faith ancestors. Maybe we’ll want some good music to uplift and move us. Maybe we need some sneakers or hiking boots or yoga mats to help us take care of the bodies God gave us. We might also want some good chocolate, coffee, tea, or wine and plenty of water. We definitely need emotional support and love, too.
We need a village, a tribe, or a church of some kind to care about us and pray for us.
So, what do you need in your backpack for this journey of faith we’re on together? What would help you feel more prepared to share the Good News of God’s love? What helps you to feel connected to and supported by your faith family? Let me know!
May God bless the season ahead, and may God bless our learning.
P.S. If you want to help with actual school supplies, Social Ministries will be collecting these items for Church World Service school kits over the summer until Sept. 6: (1) 30 cm. or 12 inch ruler, (1) hand held pencil sharpener, (1) pair blunt metal scissors with rounded tips, (1) large eraser, (6) new unsharpened #2 pencils with erasers, (1) box of 24-count crayons, (3) 70-count spiral notebooks or (1) notebook 200-210 pages (no loose leaf or filler paper). The collection box is in the narthex.
– “Adapted from the work of Rev. Beth Simmons.”